Sleeping well is vital to the health of our body and will greatly affect the mental well-being of the person.
Sleep is a state of rest during which opposed the waking state of consciousness is suspended, the activity of some of our nerve centers and various body functions slow down and our body recovers lost energy. A good rest is crucial to a better quality of life because it allows to regenerate the body as a whole by enhancing the capacity of concentration, learning and memory and balancing the emotional and affective.
The hours of sleep are necessary to achieve an optimal rest vary from individual to individual because it depends on the organism, lifestyle, by necessity, but mainly on the age of the person. For example, children when they are infants, they need to 14/16 hours of sleep evenly distributed over the day and from 3 to 10 years old require 10 hours a night, for a teenager and an adult it takes an average of 8 hours a night while the older people generally sleep 6/7 hours, often fragmented by moments of wakefulness.
However it is not the quantity of sleep to make a difference and an impact on health status, but the quality. More and more people complain about related disorders at the time of rest as a difficulty falling asleep, interrupted sleep or poor quality. When the rest is altered the causes are due to physical and environmental factors, but mainly to aspects of a psychological nature such as anxiety, tension and stress. The effects are negative and can be the following: lack of energy, or low mood swings, sense of discontent spread, in addition to discomfort and irritability. Sleep may be disturbed in the initial moment of falling creating what is called insomnia: the person fails to “unplug” from the thoughts and various commitments and this does not allow the activation of mental decline gradually. Another disorder is the interrupted rest of the sudden and early morning awakening, when that happens you trigger thoughts, worries and nervousness thus makes it almost impossible to get to sleep. Sleep disturbances may be transient and in this case are counter under a series of measures of habit, and if they are chronic is good to consult a specialist who can advise proper care to the physical and psychological condition of the patient.
The following 13 simple and easy to implement effective strategies to sleep better and deal with sleep disorders.
- Keep regular schedules and rhythms. Observing always the same hours for bedtime and wake up to create a routine that your body gets used. Even if you are lying or later you sleep badly at night it is better to wake up at the usual time not to interrupt your sleep-wake rhythm. Avoid sudden afternoon naps not to alter the sleep-wake cycle;
- Avoid making evening activities that involve physical and mental effort. Avoid sports in the evening because the production of adrenaline connected makes it harder to fall asleep. Avoid keeping your computer in the evening or watch too much TV because in both situations the brain is activated and the concentration does not decrease significantly immediately;
- Relax before bedtime. Read a good book, prepared with calm, brings attention to you, or take a relaxing hot bath which is preferable to the shower;
- If you can not sleep, get up. If you went to bed once you find yourself toss and turn, get up and do something relaxing and go back to sleep when you feel more tired. Stay in bed you only makes you nervous;
- Consumes a light dinner. A heavy meal right before bedtime prolongs the process of digestion;
- Reduce caffeine. Avoid taking drinks like coffee and tea after 17 because they stimulate the central nervous system. In general, excessive consumption of caffeine leads to increased difficulty in getting to sleep and increases the risk of waking up at night is not making restful sleep as it should be;
- Avoid taking stimulants such as alcohol and nicotine. Rather, before bed, eating a hot drink;
- Breathe with the diaphragm. The belly breathing allows a real easing of tensions;
- You are the light of the day. Standing outside during the day the concentration of melatonin in the blood decreases making you feel more active and full of energy. When the evening you are no longer exposed to light the amount of melatonin increases and you feel more tired. Being outdoors helps our biological clock to adjust the need for sleep;
- Make regular physical activity. A weekly training produces physical fatigue, makes the body produce relaxing substances and the effort makes you sleep deeper and continuous;
- Do not lie down if you’re hungry;
- Avoid sleeping pills. Intake of sleeping pills can lead to dependency, so it is not recommended for use for long periods;
- Evokes pleasant thoughts, memories of beautiful moments, images that you relax as soon as you are lying. This also helps to slide gently into the night.